This Is Meant To Hurt You is a multimedia art publication that I created as a new and more ambitious outlet for my personal aesthetic, as well as to showcase the talents of some of the many people that inspire and challenge me. In turn, I hope to challenge my audience to re-imagine subjects that have been traditionally maligned by polite society, such as tattoos and fetishism, by presenting them through a refined and romantic lens.

During this yearlong project, I have worked to capture the idea of being young, cold, and beautiful by creating a visual representation for the emotional distance that results from rejecting intimacy for oneself while still idealizing romance. The result thus far is a bold and provocative aesthetic of stark visual and psychological contrasts to illustrate the essential tension between elegance and squalor, romance and loneliness.

- Javier Betancourt